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Today was a tough day at our house. I wasn't feeling great, we were all recovering from a weekend trip so everyone was off their game, and we were all feeling a little grumpy. You know those days, where you're wishing for bedtime at 2pm and feel like you could have a meltdown at any moment. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this! I dealt with similar emotions a lot when dealing with postpartum anxiety and depression. Here are five things I did to help us get through the day:
Even if it's just the backyard or front yard for 10 minutes, get out there. A change of scene and hopefully some sunshine did me a lot of good. The kids get to run around and get rid of some energy, too. Feeling the sunshine and breeze on my skin helps calm me down.
Whether it's a mama friend, your mom, or someone you haven't spoken to in a while, reach out and call them. No texts or no emails. This works the best if it's actual talking. There's something about hearing the voice of someone you've been thinking about that is so satisfying. Plus, I bet you'll make their day if you reach out to them.
Move Your Body
We all know you can head outside when the weather's nice, but what can we do if it's raining, cold, or snowing? Dance parties are one of my favorite ways to shake up an ordinary afternoon. You'll often see snippets of them on my Instagram story. Not only does it get me up and moving, but it helps my kids go wild. I have so much fun being silly with my boys. Yoga is another great way to move around. We are big fans of Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube, which is easy for my kindergartner to do and my toddler to follow. There are even themed sessions for your little Jedi or Frozen enthusiast. The best part is that the videos are free!
Eat or Drink Something
We're often so busy taking care of everyone else that we don't take very good care of ourselves. I don't mean massages and pedicures as a form of self care, I am referring to fulfilling the basic need of food and water. I've gone many a day where 4pm hits and I realize that my splitting headache is from a lack of food. Pop in a Hershey kiss or piece of dark chocolate, eat an apple, or make yourself a smoothie. Remember that you can't nurture with an empty tank!
Take a Mommy Break
Make sure the kids are in a safe area and let them play while you go to another room of the house. I've been known to escape to our master bedroom while the kids play in our mostly safe living room. I'm not gone for long, only 5 minutes or so, and I keep an ear out for screams or squabbles. Even if it's using the bathroom in peace (hey, we've all peed with an audience), a little alone time can be a great quick fix.
When I feel like I'm going going to have a meltdown, I notice that it helps to lower my standards of mothering until the moment passes. Sometimes all I have the ability to do is the bare minimum. This was never more true than when I was dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety. While we watched more TV than I would've liked, my kids were fed and they were safe. Sometimes just enough is the best we can do and that's okay. We are enough.
How do you cope when you've reached the end of your rope? Let me know in the comments!
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Today's guest post comes from Jenny of Princess Turned Mom. Jenny writes a letter to the mom who feels like she's missing out.
“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are THE MOST important work.” -C.S.Lewis
It often feels like we as moms are missing out on just about everything. I see the mom who leaves the work out class early because their baby is crying uncontrollably. I see the mom who is in the back of the church missing the sermon trying to entertain the toddler who refused to go into the nursery. I see the mom looking disheveled, exhausted and patience running low at the grocery store. I see these moms because I am this mom.
Here entails a short letter of sorts to the mom missing it all, or who feels like she is missing it all.
To the mom who is missing out on the hip new songs on the radio (radio; do you even remember what that is?). To the mom missing the news, any kind of news; worldly, nationally, locally, or even next door. To the mom missing clean clothes, a clean house, a clean room, a clean anything. To the mom missing the biggest blockbuster movie release. To the mom missing the girls night out or the spa day with her bestie. To the mom missing putting on her best dress and stiletto’s for date night with her hubby. To the mom missing her younger looking skin, face, or body. To the mom missing sleeping in or just sleeping at all. To the mom missing hot meals, hot showers or even hot sex (yes, I said it). To the mom who feels like she is even missing her brain at times.
To that mom, here is the truth; the only thing we might be missing, that is actually important, is the little moments with our kids. If we let ourselves dwell on the things we think we are missing that are so great, then we are bound to miss the “I did it all by myself” dance. The “I conquered a milestone” gleam. The “look at me” twirl. The “I’m a big kid now” leap. The “did you see that?” strut. These are life’s most important snapshots that we can not re-create. There will always be a big movie release you can see, the house I’m sure will be clean someday, the stilettos can always be dusted off and all the other stuff will still be waiting for you when it is the time. I can guarantee you that the moments with your children are the ones you do not want to miss. This is what life is all about right now, so soak it all in, every second, because the days may be long, but the years are oh so short!!
(I included two of my favorite moments caught on video: when our son first said “mama” and when our daughter took her first steps. Click links below to view.)
Jenny is a retired princess navigating life as a wife and mom. Once upon a time she met her Prince Charming, fell madly in love, had two beautiful children and lived happily ever after (most of the time). Now she writes stories of motherhood; the good, the bad and the really funny over at Princess Turned Mom.